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Teen Trust Awards $15,225 to Black Hawk County Nonprofits Via “Grantsmobile”

April 13, 2023

Members of the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa’s youth philanthropy program, Teen Trust, traveled around Black Hawk County via “grantsmobile” on April 12 to award their 2023 grants. The 23 trustees from Black Hawk County high schools awarded $15,225 in grants to eight area nonprofits.

The nonprofits that received a grant, along with the project name and grant award amount, include:

  • Boys and Girls Clubs of the Cedar Valley, SMART Girls Mentorship Program, $1,500
  • Cedar Valley Preschool and Child Care Center, Increasing Child Care Through Mentoring Boards & Directors, $2,000
  • Loving Tanner, Love & Loss Bereavement Box Initiative, $2,225
  • Lutheran Services in Iowa, Trauma Informed Services for Detained Youth, $2,000
  • North Star Community Services, Creating Connections: Inclusive Theatre Project, $2,000
  • Operation Threshold, Pocket Change, $1,500
  • Riverview Center, Sexual Assault Crisis Response Toolkit, $2,500
  • SuccessLink, Young Parents Together, $1,500

The grant funds are available to 501(c)3 agencies addressing community needs in Black Hawk County and are within criteria that the trustees determine as priorities. The trustees work as a team to decide which organizations to assist through financial aid and/or volunteerism by using a grant application system, site visits and training seminars. This program illuminates the role in which students can be vital community contributors now, through hands-on education in giving back, as well as valuable leaders in the future. This group of students is led by a student director, a local college student who empowers and challenges high school students to address, identify and seek solutions to community needs while building a sense of social responsibility.

The 2022-2023 Trustees listed by high school are (*indicates officers): Mary Flikkema, Sydney Grant, Keiana James, Harrison Kirschenmann*, Gena Koinzan, Pranav Kota, Lejla Mehmedovic, Param Sampat, Sophia Showalter, Molly Susong and Sophia Woods* from Cedar Falls High School; Mariah Thurmond and Jacqueline Urbano from Columbus High School; Kaylee Kerr*, Emily Naughton and Katey Schmit from Don Bosco High School; Sofia Brown and Jasmine Oleson from Hudson High School; and Madeline Bickley, Sasha Hyacinth*, Taylor Lusson, Sierra Meeks and Bri Williams from Waterloo West High School. Caitlin Thilges, a University of Northern Iowa graduate student, has served as the Teen Trust student director for the last two years.

“I am so impressed by this year’s class of trustees,” said Sloan Alberhasky, Teen Trust program director with the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa. “They have dedicated many hours throughout the last year learning about philanthropy, becoming well-informed of the needs in our community and volunteering their time to raise funds to put toward their grant awards. The group was very intentional and passionate about where they allocated their funding this year.”

The Teen Trust program is currently accepting applications through April 28th for high school students to serve on Teen Trust for the 2023-2024 season. The program is also hiring for next year’s student director who works with and reports to the Teen Trust program director. More information and the online applications can be found at

“The Teen Trust program essentially prepares youth to be good stewards of their community and to develop leadership and other lifelong skills. I encourage anyone interested in learning more about the opportunity to contact me or apply to be part of the program next year,” said Alberhasky.

Questions regarding the Teen Trust program can be directed to Sloan Alberhasky, Teen Trust program director, at or 319-243-1365.

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